By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
St. Xavier is hoping that its early-season schedule will be beneficial as it prepares for a week of bowling with serious implications for all four teams competing in the Greater Catholic League South Division. It gets underway later today with the first GCL South Quad of the season at 4 p.m. at Crossgate Lanes in Blue Ash, followed by St. Xavier then traveling to face Elder at Western Bowl at 7 Thursday evening. The Panthers are 3-0 this season, with a pair of victories last week against Moeller, and a strong second-place finish in the season-opening Centerville Elks Invitational on November 24. Elder finished No. 11 in the prestigious Holiday Classic last weekend at Western Bowl.
The Bombers also competed in the 39-team Holiday Classic, hosted by Elder and Seton high schools, and was in 14th place after two individual games and four Baker Format games – earning a spot among the top 16 finishers competing for the tournament championship, with the remaining 23 schools squaring off in the consolation bracket. Elder and La Salle also advanced to the championship round, and ironically faced each other in the first match – with Elder winning before falling to Centerville. Moeller bowled Harrison in the consolation bracket and lost, 2-1.
St. Xavier opened the Holiday Classic with a team score of 992, led by a pair of seniors – Zach Saupe with a 226 (394 series) and a 208 from Jake Hoffman (396 series). In game two, the Bombers rolled a 991 to move into ninth place in the team standings – led by seniors Carson Kiley (234), Jeremy Roenker (201) and Ben Behimer (200). St. Xavier dropped back to 14th place after the Baker Format, making the cut and earning a match with Centerville in match play (best two out of three). Centerville won the first two games and, after defeating Elder, finished runner-up to St. Mary’s.
The Bombers dropped their first two matches of the season, falling to Vandalia Butler in the opener on November 27 and then La Salle in the GCL South debut for both teams December 3. After today’s quad hosted by Moeller, the three remaining GCL South Quads are scheduled for Friday, January 11 at 6 p.m. at Brentwood Bowl (hosted by St. Xavier); Friday, January 18 at 6 p.m. at Colerain Bowl (La Salle); and Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. at Western Bowl (elder).